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Chapter 9:


April 22.—We drove to Melrose, ‘fair Melrose,’ . . . . took horses and went on to Abbotsford. My feelings were hardly more changed on approaching it, from what they were when I approached it nineteen years ago, than was the place itself. We had been reading on our journey the last sad volume of Lockhart's Life, with the account of Scott's pecuniary troubles, and their tragical result. The first glimpse of Abbotsford made us feel that we knew their cause; we put our feet in its court-yard, and were sure of it. . . . .

The house is grown very large. It is somewhat fantastic in its forms and appearance, but still from several points produces a good effect. The grounds immediately adjacent to it are pretty, and the garden, with its conservatories, is such as should belong only to a large and free fortune, one much larger than Scott's was. The inscription in it struck me as beautiful and happy, though I believe it would be difficult to find the very words in the Vulgate, or elsewhere, —‘Audiebant vocem Domini ambulantis in Horto.’ But it is one of those ‘accommodations’ which are very characteristic of Scott.

We went, of course, all over the house, seeing things most of which it was painful to look upon . . . . . But there was not much else [except some pictures] to recall the cottage which I visited in 1819 so happily, and, indeed, it was not without a good deal of difficulty that I found the room in which I was lodged, now neglected and given up to mean uses, but then one of the best in the house. It is all a pity. The house was then well suited to his fortune, and is now only the monument of his ruin . . . . . In a niche [in the library] where he himself had placed a cast of Shakespeare's head, there now stands the bust of himself by Chantrey, idealized, no doubt, and with more of

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